“The British are the boldest dressers, wearing a birdseye semisolid suit where the New Yorker is more comfortable in a more discrete pin dot,” Cundey said. “And the Londoner will accessorize his suit and black oxfords with a bolder shirt and a woven necktie where the American is likely to wear a nondescript shirt and a printed tie. On the other hand, Americans are less formal. The Prince of Wales check is seen in New York paired with brown shoes where in England that is a country combination.” And, according to George Glasgow Jr. of London shoemaker George Cleverley, brown is the predominant shoe color in the rest of the United States.
America may be turning brown, but Italy has been wearing brown shoes and country clothes in the city for years. Milan, Rome, Florence and Naples have good tailors aplenty, and they turn out flannels and tweeds that Italian men wear with flair. For if dressing in England is about being proper, in Italy it is all about looking good. Spot a knit necktie with a gray flannel suit and you are most likely looking at an Italian.